Welcome back again to our fortnightly spot for club news. Today we have updates from the London League, and reports on the Stoneleigh Trophy & Bielski Cup from Robin Haldane. Plus, three exciting games to play through. Enjoy.
We start with some rather excellent news from the London League Minor Division. We've won it with a match to spare, because Chris Morgan has since drawn with Beckhenham & Charlton's CPJ Bernard, meaning, we have an unassailable perfect score of seven match points from seven matches. Congratulations to all who played in this tight competition - each player must be graded 120 or under, so opponents are nearly always of a similar strength - and especially to Chris Morgan, whose captaincy once again has provided a 'magic touch'. In the previous two seasons, Chris saw the second team promoted twice; he has also seen us through to the final of the Eastman Plate, despite the fact we've not won a match yet in that competition, as previously reported.
There's two pieces of good news from London League Division I, as well. Our first team has reversed their start of year slump, beating Wimbledon 7-4 with one game still adjourned, and now sit comfortably midtable with two matches remaining. An intricate, intriguing game from the Wimbledon match is below. And on an individual note, Andrew Stone is to be congratulated for drawing his adjourned game with the black pieces against Wood Green's board 3, Grandmaster Chris Ward.
The news is, it must be said, rather less rosy from London League Division II. Our team sit in the relegation spot of second from bottom, and are 4½-2½ down in the match against Mushrooms from the 10th March, with three boards left to finish. With only one match remaining after this, our fate is no longer in our hands, and relegation looks a likely prospect. It's been a tough season in a tough league. But nonetheless some good, exciting chess has been played by our team, as these two games testify - the first from our earlier match against Beckenham & Charlton on 6th February, the second from the match against Mushrooms:
Finally, thanks for Robin Haldane for the following two reports.
This competition consists of a four player team playing two matches against the same opponent with 30 minutes on the clock for each game. So the maximum playing time is 2 hours. The total grades of the four players must not exceed 700. This type of game is not everyone's cup of tea. It can be frustrating chasing your opponents king round the board trying to mate them before your flag falls.
This season five teams entered the league. Our first match was away to Coulsdon where a very close match ended in a 4-4 draw. We followed this by 2 comfortable wins 6-2 away to Wallington and 5.5-2.5 at home to Surbiton. Our final match was at home to Guildford where a strong team turned us over 6-2.
This means the current league standing is 1st Streatham & Brixton 2.5/4 2nd Guildford 2/3 3rd Coulsdon 2/3 4th Wallington 0.5/2 5th Surbiton 0/2.
It looks likely that we will finish the season in 3rd place unless we are fortunate in the remaining games. Thanks to everyone who took part apart from myself, Adam, Martin, Angus, Alexey, David and Barry.
This is an annual event that take place at South Norwood for sides that play in the Croydon League. This year 4 sides entered, South Norwood "A" and "B", Crystal Palace and ourselves.
The format was a four player team with two ten minute games against the same opponent. The total grades of the team must not exceed 700. Our team consisted of myself, Richard Tillett, Chris Morgan and Blackburn.
Looking at the relative strength of the teams I would have expected us to finish third but after a 5-3 loss to Crystal Palace, a 7-1 win against South Norwood "B" and a 5-3 loss to South Norwood "A" we totalled 13 game points to finish 2nd 1/2 a point ahead of Crystal Palace but some way behind South Norwood "A".
Congratulations to South Norwood on their win and thanks to Richard, Chris and Barry for their efforts.